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History of the Chihuahua

by Renee Dietz on September 19th, 2005

Although just about everyone knows what a Chihuahua is, not too many people know the fascinating history behind this adorable little dog. The origin of the Chihuahua is quite diverse with many different stories of where it came from. For instance, some believe the Chihuahua originates in Mexico where it was kept as a loving companion to many ancient civilizations, as seen in many Aztec Indian pottery and drawings.

The Chihuahua was thought to have a special ability of talking to the gods and leading a deceased person through the afterworld. In fact, historians state that many Chihuahuas were sacrificed and buried with the dead owner for that very purpose. Today, we find that so difficult to understand, considering the sweet loving nature of the Chihuahua.

There is even evidence in the form of clay sculptures that the Mayan Indians of South America had Chihuahua type dogs. Many of these sculptures date back to the 5th century! When the Toltec people, natives of Mexico, came into Mexico by AD 1100 to conquer the central and southern parts of Mexico, they brought with them a small dog but long coated and heavier boned.

This dog was known as a Techichi, commonly kept by the Toltecs as pets. Today, there remains question if the Toltecs crossbred the Techichi with dogs that lived in the mountains of Chihuahua known as Perro Chihuahueno. The dogs from the mountain had very rounded heads, long nails, and short, erect ears, just like the Chihuahua.

Another theory is that the Chihuahua is of European descent, having come to the New World with the Spanish conquistadors. This came about due to a small breed of dog living on the island of Malta. What made this breed so intriguing is that like a human, it had a natural molera, which is a soft pad on the top of the skull, consisting of three sections where the bones meet. Considering that this is extremely rare and that the Chihuahua has a natural molera, some believe the breed is a descendant from Malta.

In fact, there is a painting in the Sistine Chapel by Sondro Botticelli that was completed in 1482. This particular painting offers further proof of this claim. There, you will find the depiction a very small breed of dog that looks a lot like today’s Chihuahua. Additionally, this painting was done prior to Columbus setting sail, which provides even more proof that this breed would be of European ancestry.

Then there is yet another theory surrounding the history of the Chihuahua. For this, it is believed that the Chinese, who were very skilled at developing miniature breeds of larger dogs, bred down to the Chihuahua. With this, the belief is that that the Spanish traders came into possession of this breed, thus traveling with it to Mexico where the Chihuahua became so popular.

As with all breeds, some of the information is based on hard research, logical deduction, speculation, and tons of documentation. What we do know is that throughout history, we have solid record of many aristocrats owning Chihuahuas to include the Aztec leader, Montezuma II, who is said to have owned hundreds. Interestingly, some people think of the Chihuahua as not being a manly dog but we know that many powerful leaders and famous people did and do own the Chihuahua such as General Santa Ana and even the renowned band leader, Xavier Cugat. Of course, probably the person we associate most with the Chihuahua in current times is Paris Hilton. Regardless of where the Chihuahua comes from, we know this is an exceptional breed of dog.

Author’s Bio: Renee Dietz says she has “been blessed with the ability to write.” Over the past 25 years, she has written more than 150 ebooks, well over 18,000 articles, and web content. Renee has written on various subjects that range from teaching a parrot to talk to stock commodities to weddings and everything in between. Her style is creative, informative, and always reader-friendly. Renee goes on to say that “writing is my passion, something I take to heart. For this reason, I work diligently to ensure every client is a happy client.” One of Renee’s favorites quotes comes from Douglas Adams - “To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.”

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